CEPA Gallery

It was time for a brand refresh, and way past time for a new website. The Buffalo Contemporary Photography and Visual Arts Center known as CEPA Gallery was 40 years young and strong in the local, national and international art community. But the website was old, outdated, and not capable of handling the basics they needed to move forward. So the decision was made to build a brand-new website to go with their brand-new brand.

Responsibilities: Planning and strategy, research, user experience, information architecture, sitemap, content strategy, copywriting and editing, logo design, design, development, periodic maintenance and evolution.

1. Research & Strategy

Following comprehensive SEO research, a sitemap and content strategy was developed to handle the challenge of simultaneously capturing organic traffic and funneling visitors to a massive store of information across a wide variety of gallery offerings. The team then underwent the enormous task of organizing the content, from upcoming and archived exhibits to prints for sale and education programs. On top of that, the gallery was in the process of absorbing another local arts organization, Big Orbit, and the new site had to handle everything from both.

2. Design-Build

The design process began by redesigning the logo for both galleries, bringing each of them into the same family. A simple, modern approach was chosen, which led the way to viewing the website itself as a “gallery.” A minimalist approach with “white walls and good framing” would ensure that the art featured in the galleries would always form the fundamental of the site design. In lieu of a flat wireframe and design process, the content was dropped into a bootstrap-style stage site using WordPress, where the entire team could view the content unadorned in a website context, without the distraction of heavy design elements. This process also allowed for a custom page-by-page design wherever possible, and a series of other templates that helped the client easily add certain content types on their own moving forward.


“It was a joy to work with David on the design and launch of the new site. With this launch, CEPA Gallery has realized a dream of having a website that matches the quality of our programs. It is visual, it is functional, it is scalable, and above all else, it is CEPA. Throughout the process we received everything we knew we needed and wanted—AND a lot we didn’t know we needed but are very glad to have. We look forward to unlocking the potential of the site for years to come.” —Sean Donaher, Executive Director and Curator, CEPA Gallery